An Overview of Stephen Hawking

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When life throws you a lemon, you don’t sulk, complain or feel sorry for yourself. Instead, you just make lemonadeYou make the most of the situation that is handed to you, just as Stephen Hawking has done in his lifetime of accomplishments, achievements and deeds while being severely disabled. Mr. Hawking is an extraordinary human being who defeated all odds and stood his ground in maintaining his sense of humor and integrity, despite his physical limitations. Society puts him in the same category as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton for his knowledge and experience in Physics, Mathematics and Cosmology. He is a man defined not only by his disability, but by his accomplishments and his contributions to science.

  • The Early Years

Stephen Hawking is a Physics professor at Cambridge University, located in Cambridge, England. His expertise and passion dwells in that of Cosmology, the study of the universe. He was born during World War II, and given the name of Stephen William Hawking on January 8, 1942 in Oxford England. Although it was his father’s dream for his son to become a doctor like himself, Stephen chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps for his love was in Mathematics, Physics, Science and Astronomy. As a boy growing up, he was enrolled at St. Albans at the age of eleven. Though today, he is noted for his work as a researcher, which details a lot of reading and analyzing, as a child Stephen’s reading was at a low level. He found it to be more satisfying trying to figure out how things work, than it was reading text books. Figuring things out on his own opened doors that put him on his career path.

  • The Incurable Disease

Stephen admits that as a child his first challenge was that of being physically uncoordinated. This physical problem led him to shy away from activities dealing with sports. However, the minor set back did not keep him from entering competitions in rowing and coxing at the age of seventeen. It was at the age of twenty-one that he began noticing some more changes in his coordination, more accidents would occur, like falling for no apparent reason. After many tests and hospital visits, he was diagnosed with an incurable disease that would eventually leave him permanently disabled. Today he lives his life confined to a wheelchair and speaking through a voice synthesizer, because the disease has claimed his voice and destroyed the muscles in his body, which leaves him paralyzed. The incurable disease that has taken over his body is Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS as it is sometimes called.

  • His Published Works

The defining man not only loves doing research, giving lectures and interviews. He has a passion for writing as well. He is an author whose contributions include book publications and essays. His first book published is entitled: A Brief History of Time which was followed by two more published works: Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays. Another book was published in 2001 entitled The Universe in a Nutshell. All of which, shows his enthusiasm and interest in Cosmology. Mr. Hawking has proven that he is unstoppable, even in a wheelchair.

  • Conclusion

 Hawking is a man of integrity, strength and determination. He is also humble, because regardless of his accomplishments while living with his disability, he still claims that he is no genius. Though in a wheelchair, Hawking is married and has a family. Besides his accomplishments in research, he has won recognition for being on TV Programs such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and being entertained at the White House. With all the things that this man has accomplished, it goes to show that a disability may slow you down and interrupt your life, but it doesn’t have to mean that your life is over. You can still do great things and prove your worth.

Below are lists of links that will lead to interesting reading on the life and accomplishments of Stephen William Hawking, the man who didn’t let being disabled stop him from living.

Hawkins at the University of Cambridge

The Man and His Contributions

About Professor Stephen Hawking

Cosmology at Cambridge

Talking with Hawking about Lou Gehrig’s Disease

A Glimpse into His Personal Life

Facing the Medical Emergency

An Interview with Stephen Hawking

An Essay on Hawking

 Witnessing a Stephen Hawking Lecture                                 

Beating the Odds

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What Type of Wheelchair Vehicle is Best For Me?

Deciding which type of accessible vehicle to drive or use for transportation is difficult. Almost any type of vehicle can be modified to accommodate accessible transportation, but one stands out as the best wheelchair vehicle for families, businesses, or public transportation.

WHEELCHAIR MINIVANS Wheelchair minivans come out on top as the best wheelchair vehicle all around. They offer affordable pricing, lots of interior space, great gas mileage, quick access, and top safety ratings. Buyers can choose from side and rear entry wheelchair vans with a power or manual ramp for easy access in and out of the vehicle. Minivans have a low center of gravity and drive like a car making them very gas efficient and easy to drive. Some minivans such as the wheelchair vans offered by AMS Vans also negate the need for an expensive kneeling system by extending the ramp 4 inches. This saves the customer thousands of dollars versus other national brands.

FULL SIZED VANS Most full size conversion vans use a lift rather than a ramp. Lift systems are significantly more expensive than ramps in addition to the vehicle itself being more expensive than a minivan. Full size vans are built on a truck chassis making driving and maneuverability extremely challenging. Full size vans have either captain’s chair seating or bench seating that forces the buyer to choose less passenger seating or benches that a caregiver would have to crawl over to get to a passenger. Full size vans have very low gas mileage and a high center of gravity making it less stable than a minivan. Most full size vans carry the additional expense of needing the back doors widened to accommodate a lift or ramp and possibly the roof raised. Using a ramp is possible with full sized vans, however a kneeling system is required adding thousands to your accessible conversion.

SUVS SUVs are stylish, popular, and often coming standard with four wheel drive for off road driving. While this feature is nice in the occasional snow storm, the low gas mileage, expensive maintenance, higher insurance rates, and unstable high center of gravity doesn’t really make it worth the trade. Making an SUV accessible is extremely costly by adding transfer seats, kneeling systems and expensive unreliable hitch mounted lifts. While SUVs are as big or bigger than a minivan, most of the cargo space is taken up by bench seating for passengers. Once you transfer a user out of the chair and onto the seat and store the wheelchair in the relatively small space in the back for cargo, your storage space is cut in half.

CARS While cars are typically good on gas, easy to drive, and stylish, using one as accessible transportation can be difficult. Since they are so low to the ground, transferring out of the wheelchair and into the car can put not only the wheelchair user at risk, but the person assisting at risk for injury. Using a car requires the use of a foldable wheelchair, a portable wheelchair that does not necessarily offer the same customized comfort amenities as the user’s wheelchair he/she uses all the time. Once a portable wheelchair is placed in the trunk, it becomes basically useless with all the space taken up from the chair.

MOTORCYCLES Motorcycles are fun, environmentally friendly vehicles that can be customized to a wheelchair user. Wheelchair users can purchase add on packages to either drive from their chair, slide from their chair onto a common motorcycle seat that is stored inside a lift attached to the back of the bike, or ride in their chair shotgun via a side car. While an exhilarating hobby, most area climates are not conducive to year round motorcycle use since you and your chair are exposed to the elements. Motorcycle accidents are among the most horrific on the road since they are not surrounded by a metal frame, and they are less visible to other drivers. Using a motorcycle for your primary accessible transportation only allows the wheelchair user and possibly one other rider to use it at the same time so the versatility of the vehicle is rather limited.

PICK UP TRUCKS Pick up trucks have the same unstable high center of gravity and low gas mileage as SUVs. An expensive transfer chair or robotic system is required to transfer in and out of the cab of the truck. Even with the purchase of high dollar king or extended cab trucks, the wheelchair has to be transported in the bed of the truck which is exposed to the elements critically reducing the life of your chair.

Finding the best wheelchair vehicle for yourself, your family, or your business can be a daunting task, but you are on the right path towards making the right decision and enjoying the mobility freedom you deserve.

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Information Page

Multiple sclerosis, commonly known as MS, is a disease that affects the nerves of the central nervous system. An insulation to the nerves known as myelin improves the impulses that maintain the health of the nerves. When an individual has multiple sclerosis, inflammation in the nervous system (spinal cord and brain) causes the myelin to degenerate. These nerves then become damaged, which can affect a person’s vision, walking, speech, memory and writing. The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown but researchers have narrowed the reasoning down to genetics and disorders of the immune system. Common symptoms of MS include tingling, loss of balance, blurred or double vision, numbness, weakness in limbs, slurred speech, cognitive problems, lack of coordination, and sudden paralysis. While there is no one test to diagnosis multiple sclerosis, a series of criteria is used to diagnosis the disease.

 

Criteria used to diagnosis multiple sclerosis: 

  • Onset of MS typically occurs between 20 to 50 years of age
  • Symptoms and signs are present
  • Two or more lesions are found during an MRI scan
  • Evidence of brain or spinal disease is found during an examination
  • Two or more episodes of impaired function that lasts at least 24 hours
  • No other explanation is found for the patients symptoms
  • Multiple Sclerosis Foundation: Official foundation for individuals living with multiple sclerosis, programs and activities, publications and more.

Living with and Managing MS

Multiple sclerosis is a life long disease that can affect many aspects of daily life and present challenges to those who have it. Symptoms of MS typically come and go and therefore cause a certain ‘lack of control’ to sufferers of the disease. A treatment plan that includes medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes can help control MS. Every case of MS is dramatically different and can affect individuals in various ways. While some cases remain benign and patients only suffer small infrequent attacks, others can progress rapidly and cause intense degenerative symptoms that become worse with each attack.

  • Disease Progression: Living with multiple sclerosis and how to stay healthy as the disease progresses.
  • Learning about MS: Find information about multiple sclerosis, how it affects aspects of your health, and conventional treatments.

Treatment

Both drug therapy and rehabilitation techniques have been extremely effective in managing multiple sclerosis. Avonex, Copazone, Betaseron, Extavia, Novatrone, Tysabri, and Rebif are some of the most common agents used in medications to reduce disease progression. Physical, occupational, cognitive, and vocational rehabilitation can be used throughout all stages of MS to help control symptoms. Lifestyle changes including change in diet and exercise, relaxation techniques, naturopathy, and herbal healing have all been used in place of conventional treatments.

  • Bee Sting Therapy: Learn how bee sting therapy, or apitherapy, can be used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis.
  • The Best Bet Treatment: How a mixture of therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes can act as an effective MS treatment plan.
  • Treatment and Diagnosis: MS treatment options for children and adolescents involving medications and rehabilitation methods.

Cognitive Functioning

More than half of patients with multiple sclerosis experience cognitive problems that include defects of the memory, attention, and abstraction. Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression, are also frequently found in those with MS. Factors that exacerbate the cognition processes include sleep problems, heat, fatigue, stress, depression, and external distractions. A strict MS treatment plan as well as avoidance of these factors can be excellent coping strategies.

  • Cognitive Thinking with MS: How motor and sensory skills, vision, coordination, speech as well as other factors can be affected by MS.
  • Multiple Sclerosis Study: Cognitive function study of multiple sclerosis to investigate impairment of intellectual patterns.

Multiple Sclerosis Research

New treatment options and important information is presented through multiple sclerosis research organizations, medical centers, and individuals researchers. Current research projects by various medical universities develop programs to study secondary conditions of multiple sclerosis, compare levels of pain, and conduct self-management trails and training. Clinical trails for MS patients are constantly being conducted by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation to find new medical therapies for treatment plans. Government-funded clinical research is also being presented at various National Institutes of Health.

  • Studies & Participation: Multiple sclerosis genetic studies and participations featuring new statistical methods for patients.

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The Pharmacology Resource Page

The study of science changes everyday with the growing prevalence of technology and continuous progress being made in a variety of different fields in science. Scientists have discovered new ways to approach, and information relating to, medicine and the human body. Pharmacology is studied by scientists who help to determine how drugs and different types of medication may heal and aid the body in resisting diseases and infections. Pharmacology is broken down into many divisions pertaining to a variety of subtopics, including a drug’s affect on living cells to the chemicals that may be dangerous to our bodies. The information and links provided will ensure a better understanding of pharmacology and the way it has developed and grown in it’s significance in recent years.

All About Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the scientific study of drugs, including what different types of drugs do, how they work, and specific types of drugs that are used for different ailments. The study of pharmacology also relates to how the human body adapts and reacts to different drugs. Pharmacology and Pharmacy, while they may uphold some of the same principles, are still very different studies. Pharmacy is the scientific study of preparing and dispensing medications for human consumption. Pharmacy reports the chemical interactions between a given medication and the human body. Both studies share similarities in reporting the study of physiological reactions of the body to a medication. Another aspect within the study of pharmacology is how drugs are metabolized within the body.

  • Pharmacology: Explore and learn more about pharmacology.

  • Study of Drugs: More information relating to pharmacology and a PDF file to Nobel Prize Awards given to scientists in physiology and medicine.

  • Timeline: Learn about the history of pharmacology from 1790 to the 2000s.

  • Definition: Learn more about what pharmacology is.

Pharmacology Origins

Oswald Schmiedeberg is credited as the founder of today’s modern pharmacology. Schmiedeberg showed that the vagus nerve and heart were both effected by muscularity. His studies launched the pharmaceutical beliefs in Germany up until World War II. Prior to this mankind used natural elements, including animal parts and plants to treat injuries and wounds. In thebirth and creation of pharmacology, Germany’s Friedrich Wohler changed the theory of that time that stated living compounds were only established in organic cells. Wohler became known for his works and established the first compound of pharmacology.

  • History: Obtain a brief history of pharmacology and early scientists.

  • Origins: PDF file of the origins and history of pharmacology in the 16 th century.

  • EBPS: The history of the European Behavioral Pharmacology.

  • Friedrich Wohler: A brief biography of the German chemist.

  • Oswald Schmiedeberg: A brief biography of German pharmacologist.

  • Discoveries: An article giving great detail about very important early studies of pharmacology and the people who performed early studies.

  • Drug History: Learn more about how drugs were developed.

Divisions of Pharmacology

There are several distinct divisions in the field of pharmacology, each with a specific focus. Clinical pharmacology addresses the scientific clinical use of drugs. Neuropharmacology is the study of how drugs affect the nervous system. A third division is characterized as the study of pharmacogenetics, which means the testing of genes and how they interact with drugs, while pharmacogenomics relate to combining gene information to a drug’s damage organism. Pharmacoepidemiology studies drug substances and the way they affect numerous groups of people. Toxicology also falls into the greater field of pharmacology and addresses chemicals and how they affect living organisms in the body. Theoretical pharmacology is a study of theory or an idea relating to the study of drugs.Posology deals with the amount of drugs capable for the body. Pharmacognosy studies the properties of drugs in the natural stages such as the medicinal benefits of plants and other types of organisms. The last division is behavioral pharmacology which studies the way drugs affect the way a person acts or behaves. As one can see, there are many different branches of pharmacology, each is very specialized and is creditedwith a variety of different contributions to the scientific community.

Pharmacology Research

The study of science is constantly changing and progressing at an unprecedented rate of growth. The accelerated rate at which the field of sciences progresses poses unique challenges to the scientific community as we continue to develop “before their time” methods of research and explore the unknowns of the science community. Scientists continue to perform numerous tests and experiments on newly developed drugs to analyze their effects on the human body and their viability as quality medical resources. A variety of different reviews and analysis have been created within the medical community to critique experiments on the effects of experimental drugs to protect the global community and to ensure that harmful drugs are unknowingly prescribed by physicians.

  • Drugs: Online drug source updated daily about recent drug information and news for over 24,000 prescription drugs.

  • Review: a PDF review of the pharmacology of lysergic acid diethylamide.

  • Pathological Conditions: PDF file of pharmacological research of antioxidants in pathological conditions.

  • Pharmacology: PDF review of the myths and claims about cocoa being healthy for the human body.

  • Research: PDF analysis of pharmacological research.

  • Principles: PDF file of the study of the basic principles of pharmacology. 377 pages of detailed material.

Medicine Development, Drug Legislation and Safety

Medicine first began with the practice of using plants and animals to heal wounds, injuries and sores, from the earliest development of the New Stone Age Period. But over time, it has morphed into the form of pills, pure liquid and other substances. An example of the profound pharmacological developments that have taken place in recorded history is the first study that proved that blood maintained a continuous flow, which came from the Chinese emperor Huang-Ti. It wasn’t until 750 BCE whenSusruta , a Hindu surgeon first practiced eye surgery. Long before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved such procedures and their accompanying drugs, they were being used medicinally, a testament of the commitment to experimentation and development that has been evident in medical community. All drugs are not legal for use due to safety rules and regulations, and ways it could affect the human body. The Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987 ensures the safety of prescription drugs, while the 1988 Anti-drug Abuse Act prohibit abusive drug use that may harm the body. Regulations of safety issues are done from inspections and properly using labels approved by the FDA.

  • FDA: Links that provide information to learn more about the process of drug safety and drug approvals.

  • Drugs: A complete full list of the FDA approved drugs in alphabetical order and links to provide more information on each drug.

  • Recall Drugs: A list of approved and recalled drugs from 1980 to 2007.

  • History: A timeline of the history of medicine from 2600 BC to 2006.

  • Drug Marking Act: Detailed information about the Drug Marketing Act of 1987.

  • Anti-Drug Abuse Act: Detailed information about the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.

  • FDA: More information about the FDA and what it is.

  • Herbal Remedies: Information on some of the Chinese scientists who discovered and experimented with herbal medicine.

Glossaries and Drug Lists

One of the challenges that the medical community has consistently encountered is that each human body reacts differently to each drug introduced into the system. If a patient reacts unusually or out of the scope of the anticipated reaction, it would be very important to document the drug reactions and seek treatment immediately. Further testing may be necessary to determine the cause of the abnormal reaction and to detect any possible allergy. If you recognize symptoms you’re having that relate to some diseases or illnesses after taking drugs, then it’s best to document the drug reaction and seek medical attention. To prevent patients from experiencing unanticipated side effects to medication, numerous organizations and publishers have released drug indexes and guide books to help both medical professionals and consumers better prescribe and understand the complexities behind each manufactured drug. Understanding the chemistry, the intended use, and the effects of experimental drugs is critical to achieving a positive outcome and correctly providing medical attention to patients.

  • Glossary: A list of links of all the glossary terms and symbols used in pharmacology.

  • Pharmacology: A list of terms listed on one page in alphabetical order.

  • Symbols: A list of commonly used terms and abbreviations along with their meanings.

  • Drug Lists: A list of drugs in alphabetical order along with their uses, side effects, and components.

  • Review: Clinical pharmacology and medical reviews of 88 terms in PDF form.

  • Abbreviations: A full list of pharmacological abbreviations.

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Resources for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Legal Links

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Therapeutic Links

Disability Links

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Cerebral Palsy Information

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Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of conditions caused by medical abnormalities in the development of a fetus or the early life of a child. These lead to damage or delayed development in the brain. The disorder is permanent and, though it does not worsen with age, the level of functionality of a person with cerebral palsy varies widely: in some cases, effects may be very minor, while in others, movement is impaired to the extent that a wheelchair is required. Common complications associated with CP vary by the type of CP disorder but can include vision problems, seizures, learning disabilities, and issues speaking, writing, and performing other tasks related to motor control.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is generally caused by developmental issues during pregnancy which lead to abnormal conditions in the brain. During the birth process, lack of oxygen caused by premature delivery or delivery-room errors can cause brain damage that facilitates cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can also be caused by recognizable brain injuries sustained by the developing child up to an early age after birth. Medical research continues to uncover the many risk factors that may be associated with CP cases. Effective maternal care, ensuring a healthy diet and environment for the mother, is vital for ensuring that preventable cases of CP do not occur.

Developmental Disabilities: Cerebral Palsy: Referenced fact-sheet on cerebral palsy compiled by the Centers for Disease Control.

Cerebral Palsy at Medline Plus: Information from the online medical encyclopedia of the National Institutes of Health.

What Are The Causes of Cerebral Palsy?: A compendium of information on a huge number of topics related to CP, with a particular focus on the health and future of children with the disorder, from the nonprofit organization 4MyChild.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy: Information about the types and causes of CP as provided by Lawyers, Inc., a national medical malpractice law firm.

Origins, Etiology, Forms, Associated Conditions: Detailed, cited information about the causes and types of cerebral palsy.

Types of CP Associated With Muscle Tone

Cerebral palsy comes in several types, which may be associated with muscle tone or specific body parts. Those associated with muscle tone include: spastic CP, where abnormally high muscle tone causes problems with movement, usually in the legs and hips; ataxia, which is marked by involuntary muscle movements; athetoid, which prevents sufferers from maintaining a fixed muscle position (for example, grasping and holding); and mixed, where symptoms of both spastic and athetoid CP occur.

Cerebral Palsy: Hope Through Research: Detailed information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, including facts on the causes, risk factors, warning signs, and types of CP.

Definitions and Accommodations for Cerebral Palsy: Information on the types of CP and how to accommodate and interact with severe sufferers. From Kentucky’s Office for the Americans With Disabilities Act.

United Cerebral Palsy Association: Nonprofit organization that offers a nationwide network of affiliates aimed at expanding the rights, freedoms, and opportunities of those with cerebral palsy.

Health Encyclopedia: Cerebral Palsy: Facts on the types, causes, prevalence, and accommodations related to cerebral palsy. Provided by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Cost of Cerebral Palsy: Information on the human and economic impact of cerebral palsy, presented in the form of an academic report composed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Types of CP Associated With Body Parts

Certain types of cerebral palsy are associated with specific body parts rather than with the general condition of the muscular system. These types include: quadriplegia, in which all four limbs suffer severe motor dysfunction and a general inability to work together; hemiplegia, in which the limbs on one side of the body are severely affected, with the impact more pronounced in the digits; and diplegia, which causes problems with muscle development, balance, and coordination in both legs.

Cerebral Palsy Syndromes: Detailed “manual” of information about the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy, including rarer forms of the disorder.

National Organization for Rare Disorders: Information and a large compendium of quality Internet resources for sufferers of cerebral palsy and other movement disorders.

PubMed Calculated Links: Publicly-accessible database of published scholarly research on cerebral palsy, from a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Hemi-Kids: Support group for parents with children suffering from hemiplegia and hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association: Another, similar nonprofit organization focusing on support for youth hemiplegia.

Living with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can create severe problems that persist throughout the sufferer’s day-to-day life. Many cases of CP involve at least some involuntary movement that can disrupt normal activities. Others involve a persistent lack of muscle control that makes walking, standing, or manipulating objects difficult or impossible. Those with CP may have problems talking, eating, or breathing. They may also have learning impairments, seizures, or other major neurological problems. Those with the most serious cases of CP require intensive, lifelong medical attention, and cannot effectively care for themselves independently due to cognitive disruptions or reliance on medical equipment.

KidsHealth: Cerebral Palsy: Information on coping with cerebral palsy aimed at children.

Cerebral Palsy Family Network: Information on living with CP and networking with other sufferers and their families. Aimed at parents and planning long-term care for children with severe CP.

Whispers of Hope: Living With CP: Even more electronic resources for networking and overcoming life challenges related to cerebral palsy.

Equipment

There is a vast and growing body of products aimed at restoring independence and fullness of life to sufferers of CP. Wheelchairs are available that can accommodate the needs of a wide variety of CP patients; walkers, canes, and other assistive devices are also available. For those with impaired fine motor control, small objects such as pencils and silverware have been designed in accessible forms. Patients who are unable to speak may use communication devices that interpret the movements of the throat or the input of a small keyboard in order to create recognizable vocalizations – much in the same way as noted physicist Stephen Hawking. For all of the daily challenges associated with CP, in whatever form, some assistive measure exists or is being researched.

Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia: Detailed Frequently Asked Questions sheet including information on assistive technology.

Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy: Information packet that covers a variety of topics related to all aspects of living with CP.

New Horizons Un-Limited: Resource page focusing entirely on adaptive equipment for various issues often associated with CP.

Cerebral Palsy Accessories and Equipment: Impartial, nonprofit review website for all categories of assistive equipment related to the lives of CP sufferers.

Therapy

Those with cerebral palsy can benefit from several kinds of therapy. Physical therapy focuses on helping patients attain greater muscle control, coordination, and balance through basic physical tasks. Using physical therapy, it may be possible to enhance a CP patient’s ability to walk or balance. Speech therapy is used to overcome problems with enunciation, including secondary issues such as lisping. Occupational therapy focuses on the improvement of cognitive function through a variety of simple tasks, and recreational therapy contributes to the development of social and independent living skills in recreational environments.

Center for Cerebral Palsy Spasticity: Information on treatment and the latest research from an advanced medical center at the Children’s Hospital of St. Louis.

Cerebral Palsy Guide for Care: Excerpt from an extremely detailed medical analysis (much of which is available on the same site) focusing on diagnosis and care for those with CP. Somewhat technical but extremely thorough.

Cerebral Palsy Treatment Overview: One portion of an extremely comprehensive guide from the University of California, San Diego, offering information on cerebral palsy from diagnosis to late-life treatment. This section focuses on treatment options for lifelong mitigation of some symptoms, with particular depth of information on physical therapy.

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine: Large amount of information from the frontiers of the latest CP research.

Bobath Center Cerebral Palsy Treatment: Charity in the United Kingdom offering resources related to occupational therapy, specifically for cerebral palsy.

Research Resources: Collection of resources on the use of music therapy in treating complications related to CP.

Conclusion

Cerebral palsy is the focus of a large amount of medical research every year. Though much of this research deals with younger patients, more and more attention is being paid to CP sufferers as they age and seek fuller opportunities and more integration with the rest of society. Living with CP is a daily challenge, but paths to a richer and more fulfilling life are being found. There is not, and may never be a “cure” for CP, but greater understanding by clinicians and the daily success stories of those who overcome their limitations are making.

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A Guide to College for Students with Disabilities

Over the past half century, the help available to students with special needs has made tremendous strides. Today, the government has taken steps to assure that all students, regardless of disabilities, will be able to receive the education that they deserve.

 

Children with special needs are now able to receive accommodations to assist them in getting a proper education. The accommodations can range from simple items such as receiving extra time to complete a test to ensuring that the student has adequate access to the classroom. All of these are due to the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 made it illegal for people to be discriminated against, just because of a disability. The Act also mandated that buildings be accessible to those with physical handicaps as well as other commonly used facilities. The Act had four major sections covering areas such as employment, civil rights and technology for people with disabilities.

Young people with disabilities now have opportunities to attend post-secondary education institutions. They are allowed to be students studying a wide range of subjects, without limitation or discrimination. Colleges and universities, like elementary and secondary schools, need to legally follow the mandates of Section 504.

We have compiled a collection of resources for students with disabilities for your reference:

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A Guide To The Paralympics Games

With the world gearing up for the 2014 Olympics, we’d like to take a moment to remind you that Sochi will also play host to this year’s Paralympics. If you’re not familiar with the paralympics, or you just need a refresher, read through our rundown on the history of the games.

The Paralympic Games are games played in the style of the Olympic Games, but are for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities. The prefix “Para” stems from the word “parallel,” and alludes to the fact that the competition takes place alongside the Olympic Games. 

Sir Ludwig Guttmann founded the games in 1948. He wanted to start a sport that involved veterans from World War II. Within a few years, veterans from other nations joined in the competition. By 1960, a formal games strategy was formed, and the once informal competition garnered the official name of the Paralympic Games. They Games are held every two years, with both winter and summer Games being staged, and are held in the same host city and venues as the Olympic Games.

There are currently 26 different sports on the Paralympic Games program – 21 summer and 5 winter. Winter sports include alpine and cross country skiing, biathlon, wheelchair curling and sled hockey, while summer sports feature many familiar to Olympic Games fans, including track & field, swimming, cycling, Three sports are specific to the Paralympic Games – wheelchair rugby, boccia and goalball, a sport for athletes who are blind or visually impaired. Two new sports, paratriathlon and canoe, will make their Paralympic Games debut in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

Athletes are categorized by their disabilities and these categories are then classified based on the sport being played. The athlete categories include amputee, cerebral palsy/traumatic brain injury/stroke, wheelchair-users, blind/visual impairment, and les autres. Les autres is a French phrase which means “the others,” and this category includes all athletes that don’t fit into the other five categories. Some well-known Paralympic athletes include, April Holmes, Erin Popovich, Rudy Garcia-Tolson, Matt Scott, Chris Waddell, Sarah Will, and Jessica Long. Then there is Ragnhild Myklebust of Norway, who holds the record for the most medals ever won at the Paralympic Winter Games. Over the course of her illustrious career, she won 22 medals, 17 of which were gold.

Over the years, the Paralympic Games have seen their fair share of controversy. In 2000, some non-disabled athletes from Spain entered the Games and played on the basketball team for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This prompted the International Paralympic Committeeto suspend all intellectually disabled athletes from Paralympic competition until further evaluation. The committee claimed it would re-evaluate this after the Beijing Games, but no final decision has been made. Doping has also become an issue. During the Sydney Games in 2000, 14 athletes tested positive for doping, and 10 of those were participating in the powerlifting competition. Despite its controversies, the Paralympic Games are a great way for those with physical and visual disabilities to shine and prove their athletic greatness.

For more information about the Paralympic movement, please refer to the following websites:

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The Physical Therapy Resource

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Physical therapy is a discipline that focuses on helping people develop strength and regain function of the limbs and muscles of their bodies. A patient’s need for physical therapy evolves from factors such as an injury, debilitating illness, or advancing age. Physical therapists work with patients in many settings as a form of rehabilitation. Also known as physiotherapy, physical therapy is employed in several environments, including hospitals, nursing homes, and private offices. The goal of physical therapy is to establish or maintain function for people who have lost some abilities, and thereby improve their quality of life.

Background and History

 

Education and Training

Types of Physical Therapy

Forums and Mailing Lists

Medical Sites and Medical Journals

Research

  • Physical Therapy Research: A site that contains links to recent research studies in the field of physical therapy.
  • The Kessler Foundation: The homepage for the organization dedicated to research for disability and physical therapy care.

Additional Resources

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The Diabetic Resource

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects over 23 million people in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder where the body is unable to process and regulate blood sugar, which can lead to serious medical problems. There are many people who have already been diagnosed with this lifelong illness and many more with conditions that pre-dispose them to developing it. Research is being done on ways to fight this disease and find a cure.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a situation where the body cannot process and use the sugar that is in the bloodstream. When a person eats a meal, their body breaks down the nutrients in the food to form glucose. Glucose is also called “blood sugar” and it is responsible for providing energy for the body to participate in activities and to grow. An organ in the body called the pancreas produces insulin, which is a substance that allows the glucose to enter the cells of the body to be used. With diabetes, these processes within the body cannot take place. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to eye problems, complications with the body’s circulatory system, and damage to internal organs. It can eventually cause death if not controlled. Diabetes is a serious medical condition that requires management with the help of a doctor.

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to utilize the glucose that is in the body. Glucose levels then increase in the blood, causing a sluggish circulatory system. People with type 1 diabetes must take supplements of insulin for the rest of their lives. Type 1 diabetes occurs frequently in children and young adults, but can develop in people of all ages. For this reason, it is also referred to as juvenile diabetes.

The second type of diabetes is type 2, which is the most common. In this case, the pancreas makes insulin, but the body is unable to use it. Many people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as adults, and it is frequently associated with being overweight. Approximately 80% of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are over their normal weight.

Gestational diabetes arises in women that are pregnant. During pregnancy a woman with gestational diabetes must control her blood sugars. This condition can make both the mother and baby ill. Gestational diabetes ends when the baby is born, but the woman has a greater risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Treatments and Management

Diabetes is treated depending on which type a person has. A doctor can diagnose diabetes by testing a patient’s blood sugar through a lab test. A patient must have their blood drawn after a period of time when they have not eaten a meal. This shows what the body’s regular blood sugar is without being affected by added food. A diagnosis of diabetes is made by comparing several consecutive blood sugars and considering the patient’s lifestyle and situation.

Type 1 diabetes is managed with insulin supplements, sometimes several times a day. A patient must frequently check their blood sugar and take enough insulin to control it. They must also watch their diet and avoid foods with excess sugar, monitor their exercise regime, and manage other symptoms if they occur. Insulin for patients with type 1 diabetes is usually given by injection into the body. Many people wear a small pump, about the size of a cell phone, which directly injects insulin into the body when programmed.

Type 2 diabetes is managed in several ways. Some people need to take insulin supplements, and some can manage their glucose levels with oral medication. They must also watch their diet carefully and follow an exercise program. For an overweight person with type 2 diabetes, the goal is ultimately to lose excess weight, which many times affects how much medication they need to take, if at all.

Treatment for gestational diabetes involves checking glucose levels frequently for the duration of the pregnancy. A woman must also carefully monitor her diet, get frequent exercise, and maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.

Diabetes Symptoms

Symptoms of diabetes can be difficult to clarify. They frequently are associated with other signs of illness. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are feeling thirsty, the need for frequent urination, being tired and lethargic, and feeling continually hungry but still losing weight. For a child being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it is especially difficult to pinpoint symptoms, particularly if they are at a young enough age where they cannot explain how they feel. Type 2 diabetes involves all of the symptoms of type 1, as well as vision problems, numbness or tingling in the extremities, and having a sore or infection that is slow to heal. Sometimes, people with type 2 diabetes are unaware that they have it, as they have no symptoms at all. During gestational diabetes, symptoms are not usually noticeable or are attributed to pregnancy symptoms. Gestational diabetes is usually found by a routine lab test during prenatal care.

Facts and Help for Diabetics

Nearly 8% of the population of the United States has some form of diabetes. It affects African-Americans and Hispanics more commonly than any other ethnic group. It is also the seventh leading cause of death in America and causes serious medical problems for the body’s organs. It can lead to stroke, loss of vision, or such poor circulation as to cause amputation of a limb. A doctor must carefully manage diabetes and there are many clinics across the country that assist with specific problems associated with this illness. A person with diabetes must also have supplies for checking their blood sugars and giving injections of insulin if necessary. These supplies are found at pharmacies or are ordered by prescription by a doctor.

Medical News on Diabetes

There is much research that is ongoing in the field of diabetes. New products are being issued for use in the market. Medical news on diabetes can be found at many health sites or in medical journals. This keeps people informed of changes that may be taking place in their healthcare regime. For example, a recent product that has been developed is a form of contact lenses used to monitor blood sugar levels. Patients can wear these lenses to notify them of when their blood glucose is rising, which is less invasive than drawing blood every day. Trends and statistics are also given as part of medical news. People with diabetes can maintain their health program by talking with their doctor and reading medical news reports about their condition.

Support and Additional Resources

There are various methods of support for those living with diabetes. Many people find help in a support group for family and those afflicted with the disease. There are recurring activities that raise money for more research toward a cure, such as televised sports events and fundraisers. Many people enjoy getting involved with these activities to sustain support for their health. There are also additional resources available online that offer information and guidance for managing this disease. Diabetes can be very serious when it is not managed, and it is a lifelong illness. For people who maintain contact with their doctor, monitor their health, and receive support, this disease can continue to be controlled.

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Disability Resources

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Statistics from the United States Census Bureau indicate that over 50 million Americans have some kind of disability. As this is a large part of the nation’s population it is important that the rights of disabled individuals are protected. Discrimination against the disabled has been made illegal by acts of legislation and technologies have been developed to improve the lives of the disabled. There are several state, national, and international organizations that advocate on behalf of disabled individuals, whether physical or mental. Below is an informative resource guide to disabilities.

 

Resource Lists and Directories

National Disability Organizations

International Disability Organizations

Assistive Technology

Disability Legislation

Federal Agencies

Parenting Information and Support


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Job Resources for Individuals With Disabilities

Job Seeking

Legal Assistance & Accessibility Guidelines

General Resources

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Help For Wheelchair Users: Domestic and International

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Wheelchairs change lives. Wheelchairs free the disabled around the globe, allowing independence and a better quality of life. Wheelchairs no longer signal “can’t do” but “can do.” And that’s no handicap.

But there are hardships. Some buildings aren’t wheelchair accessible, they have no ramps, no automatic doors. Unthinking consumers still park in handicapped parking spots. Lack of mobility makes it hard to maintain positive outlooks on retrospective days for the newly disabled. For those who have always been in a wheelchair, it doesn’t always become a natural extension of self.

Depending on the level of paralysis, amputation, or illness like muscular dystrophy, the handicapped person can lift themselves in and out of their wheelchair on their own, bathe themselves, fix dinner for the family, drive a car, go shopping. 

The Americans With Disabilities Act provides a Bill of Rights for the disabled or “differently-abled” as some contend. Schools must accommodate special needs. Government buildings must be accessible. The Act protects Americans, but there is no such Act to protect over 100 million handicapped in over 150 countries worldwide. One startling statistic: 20 percent of Angola’s population is disabled. Landmine casualties in countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Mozambique are extremely high and most of those maimed by landmines do not have wheelchairs.

Organizations such as the Wheelchair Foundation work with charities throughout the United States and the world to provide low-cost wheelchairs to those in need. For those in developing countries with rough terrain, the wheelchairs are built to withstand heavy, rough use and cost around $150 to make. The prices in some of those non-Western countries for basic commercially made wheelchairs are inflated to over $1700, making them inaccessible to all but the rich. It’s challenging to get these people the wheelchairs they need due to governmental and customs red tape, and at times, corruption. The black market for wheelchairs isn’t high, but fraud can be a problem.

U.S. and International Wheelchair Relief Organizations

International Wheelchair Foundation Provides wheelchairs for over 150 countries worldwide.

Assistive Technology Organization Links From Able-Data, the links provide information to sites that offer assistive technology devices and other durable medical equipment.

Department of Justice ADA Links

Disability Rights Law Federal mandates provide non-discrimination information about the basic rights of handicapped persons regarding employment, government, commercial, and public accommodations and access, transportation, and telecommunications.

ADA Technical Assistance Links to technical materials regarding disabilities. Extensive list of documents for the public.

Small Town ADA Regulations Smaller towns and cities often do not have the budgets to create ramps and other accommodations for the disabled. This is a list of the regulations that they are bound by at minimum.

City Government ADA Problems Budgetary and architectural problems, red tape and committee problems can provide impediments to accessibility.

Civil Rights FAQ-ADA Learn about your civil rights as a handicapped person in the United States.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Reeve Paralysis Act 2009 Introduced in 2007 to a bipartisan sponsorship, the CDRPA promotes collaborative research, rehabilitative care research, and improving quality of lives for those with mobility impairments. Signed by President Barack Obama March 20, 2009 as Title XIV of the Omnibus Public Lands Bill.


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